Having a hard time quitting the fizzy, sweet stuff? Youre not alone. Its reported that nearly half of Americans drink soda on a daily basis. Thats right, 150 millions Americans are consuming almost three glasses of highly caloric, sugary drinks every day.
While most of us know that soda isnt good for us, many of us continue our consumption, wreaking havoc on our systems. Perhaps the most important reason to quit your soda addiction is the added sugar. The calories in soda are derived entirely from added sugar, meaning that there are no beneficial vitamins, minerals, or even good, high-quality carbohydrates entering your system. A diet high in added sugar, particularly liquid sugar, has been linked to higher rates of Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, cardiovascular issues, and higher percentages of body fat. Not only does soda increase the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, but its only been linked to tooth decay and bone thinning.
What about diet soda? Dont be fooled by the sugar-free promise. Diet sodas have also been linked to tooth decay and bone thinning. Youre better off quitting for good, than weaning yourself on diet soda.
If youre ready to call it quits on soda, here are some helpful tips to make you soda-free, once and for all:
1. Try an Alternative
Cucumber-Lemon water anyone? Giving your regular glass of water a fruity boost with some berry, citrus, or cucumber slices is a great way to keep you hydrated, healthy, and soda-free. Oh, and fruit-infused water is delicious.
2. Track your Calories…and your Sugar
Do you know how many calories are in a can of soda? 140. How about grams of sugar? 44. Its one thing to mindlessly kick back soda after soda, but if you start adding up the calories and sugar youre consuming, it might be the push you need to change your habits. Download a calorie counter to make it easier.
3. Start with Water
Before you reach for that can of soda, try consuming a glass of water first. It will fill you up and ease some of your cravings, making you less likely to reach for that soda after all.
4. Challenge Yourself
Set a goal to go soda-free for a week. If you complete the week without soda, try to go for two more weeks. Make a pact to hold yourself accountable.
5. Avoid Temptation
Are you more likely to consume soda at certain restaurants, during your afternoon slump, or with a slice of pizza? If there are circumstances that make soda consumption more desirable, switch up your routine to avoid the temptation. Cook at home, take a 5-10 minute walking break in the late afternoon, skip the pizza and opt for a salad instead — do whatever is needed to ensure that youre not going to fall off the soda-free wagon.
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